African American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal has been on death row in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., as a political prisoner for almost 27 years now. His trial and his conviction for murder of a police officer were a typical example for racist bias and class justice. Like so many in the US justice system, Mumia didn’t stand a chance – he was black, poor, and couldn’t afford to pay for a real defence, and despite debatable evidence was sentenced to death.
However, in all these past years in prison, Mumia hasn’t just fought for his own freedom, but has also tirelessly struggled for all those sentenced to death everywhere in the world, continuing to write and broadcast from death row.
In April 2009, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Mumia will not be given a new trial, once more demonstrating what many people in the U.S. already know as the “Mumia exception”: Any existing law or procedure is reinterpreted or simply ignored whenever they represent an obstacle to the design of the judiciary and their political masters to punish Mumia for refusing to give in.
There is now only one additional Supreme Court decision pending, which is scheduled for autumn 2009; whether the death 1982 sentence is simply reconfirmed or not, in which case the prosecution will be entitled to get a new jury which will then decide on whether Mumia is re-sentenced to death or “only” gets life in prison without the possibility of parole.The prosecution in Philadelphia (aka the District Attorney’s Office) is aiming at Mumia’s execution at any price. According to his lawyer, Robert R. Bryan, Mumia’s life has never been in greater danger than right now.
So far, worldwide protests were twice — in 1995 and 1999 — able to prevent an execution that had already been ordered. It’s no different today: Only broad international protest and solidarity can make it impossible for the authorities to carry out the planned murder of Mumia at the hands of the state.
Solidarity is a Weapon!
* Write to Mumia at his prison address!
Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Greene, 175 Progress Drive, Waynesburg, PA 15370, USA
It’s important that Mumia gets as much mail from different countries as possible. By writing, we can clearly show the authorities we haven’t forgotten Mumia Abu-Jamal, even after 27 years of solitary confinement on death row — and that we are very well informed about the plans of the courts and will continue to watch and respond to them.
We will also need powerful collective protests. Together with the numerous Mumia support groups and coalitions, the German Rote Hilfe (Red Aid) is calling for a nationwide demonstration in Berlin for the life and freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal, as well as for the abolition of the death penalty, on the last Saturday before a possible future execution date.
Compared to the situation in 1995 and 1999 when the first two execution dates against Mumia had to be canceled due to a successful interplay of legal appeals on the part of the defense and massive protests by a worldwide solidarity movement, right now mass protests in front of U.S. embassies and other U.S. institutions all around the world will be even more decisive, since this time around we won’t be able to stop the execution by means of legal appeals which are now exhausted.
“Mumia 3 + 12″
In case the U.S. judiciary and the political forces behind it should really try to put their death threats against Mumia into
practice, the FREE MUMIA movement is also calling for a decentralised day of action: At 12am (or, if necessary, at a later hour) on the 3rd day after the reinstatement of Mumia’s death sentence, institutions of the U.S. government as well as U.S. corporations should then be targets of protests and acts of civil disobedience.
This decision could come any time after October 5. Should it confirm Mumia’s death sentence, there will possibly be only very little time left until the governor of Pennsylvania signs an execution order and schedules a new execution date. If we only start to think about forms of resistance against this state-sponsored judicial murder then, it could already be too late.
Without you, it can’t be done: Organise the emergency protests – Get loud, become active!
You can listen to podcasts by Mumia at www.prisonradio.org